New York Giants: Rookie DB Darnay Holmes Standing Out At Practice

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The New York Giants had their first intra-squad scrimmage today. This was the first opportunity for the Giants’ offense to matchup against the team’s defense. There were a few highlight plays as the New Jersey beat writers live-tweeted the practice game.

The reporters tweeted after the scrimmage had ended any stats or highlights they recorded during the game. One name that kept popping up: Darnay Holmes. In fact, this rookie’s name has popped up a number of times since training camp started.

Darnay Holmes Practice Highlights

Darnay Holmes turned heads today at practice. The fourth-round rookie out of UCLA put together an impressive performance during the Giants’ first scrimmage of training camp. And this was not the first impressive day that Holmes has had during training camp.

Holmes was seen making an impressive pass breakup just a few days ago:

In today’s scrimmage, Darnay Holmes made a spectacular interception down the sideline in coverage against Golden Tate. Holmes stuck with Tate step for step, then lunged to make a full-extension interception. Check it out:

This was also not Darnay’s first interception of training camp, according to reports. Holmes has been balling out in every practice. He was listed as a standout player in each of the first three practice reports on Giants.com.

The Giants’ secondary had some major question marks heading into training camp. The absence of DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal was worrying. The Giants did not appear to have a capable outside cornerback to play opposite of James Bradberry.

Many fans were too quick to pen Darnay Holmes down as a pure slot cornerback. Darnay has been cross-training with the Giants at both inside and outside cornerback. The interception he made today was from the outside position. Darnay played outside cornerback throughout his entire collegiate career. He played slot cornerback at the Senior Bowl this year and was very impressive, which is why many expected him to make the transition to slot in the NFL. So far, though, it seems like Darnay will be able to make an impact from either cornerback position. If he continues to play like this, Darnay Holmes could see himself starting on the outside opposite of James Bradberry in the regular season.

New York Jets: Opportunity knocks for WR Jeff Smith

New York Jets

Injuries have already attacked the New York Jets’ receiving corps, but it leads to a big opportunity for second-year man Jeff Smith.

In the midst of every tough situation, opportunity seems to knock in an attempt to provide a silver lining. Jeff Smith is on his way to the door.

Training camp has only just begun across the NFL, but injuries have already taken their toll on the New York Jets. A receiving corps that’s already reeling from the loss of Robby Anderson has been particularly affected. Heralded second-round choice Denzel Mims has been held out of early practices due to a hamstring issue and Vyncint Smith (no relation) reportedly needs surgery to repair a damaged core muscle. Minor reinforcement is on the way in the form of two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Hogan, but he’s some times away from clearing the quarantine protocols necessitated by the ongoing health crisis.

Behind veteran newcomer Breshad Perriman and slot staple Jamison Crowder, experience is at a premium on the depth chart. Jeff Smith, for example, is among the remainders with the most experience…and he has one NFL game under his belt.

But now set to work with the top units as training camp continues, Smith knows a major opportunity awaits, one that could shape the next stage of his NFL career.

“Next man up,” Smith said simply in a report from Randy Lange of NYJets.com. “I think my main thing is just to know the whole offense and wherever my chance comes, to be able to go in there, not think too much, and be able to play fast.”

It was Smith, 23, who fell victim to the injury bug during last year’s training camp activities. A hamstring injury of his own relegated him to the practice squad for a majority of the year, but he received a promotion to the active roster in time for the Jets’ December visit to Baltimore. Smith earned his first NFL reception, good for a 12-yard gain and a New York first down, but another injury, this one being an ankle sprain, prevented him from building on the momentum.

Though it was cut short, Smith’s professional debut was the culmination of an offensive transition that began upon his sophomore season at Chestnut Hill. Smith began his career as a quarterback but made the switch to receiver, a move that eventually paid off in the form of a rookie free agent contract from the Jets.

Smith hopes his former skills as a quarterback will help him out in this new, green endeavor.

“I played quarterback my whole life, so I’ve been able to learn things quickly and kind of retain that,” he said. “I kind of see things differently learning the whole concept, just kind of knowing what to do.”

“It’s like learning the offense through a QB’s mind but being able to go run the routes and things like that.”

Additionally, Smith is known for his speed, which was on display during his Boston College adventure. He is, in fact, no stranger to high-speed antics in New York-branded facilities. During his freshman season, Smith’s tough final stand as a quarterback was somewhat soothed by a career-best 117 rushing yards in a visit to Syracuse. Two years later, he returned to the Carrier Dome and torched the Orange for a 64-yard scoring run, one that permanently shifted a 42-14 victory in the Eagles’ favor.

“Us Florida guys just have that natural speed. My dad ran track and my mom played volleyball and ran track, so I’ve just always had that kind of speed,” the St. Petersburg native said in Lange’s report. “That’s just a positive side to my game, being able to use that speed at the right time.”

Overall, Smith has described his position shift as “smooth”. The Jets certainly hope his transition from camp hopeful to first-unit man goes the exact same way as an topsy-turvy season deals yet another curveball.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: The Media’s Gets Strong First Impressions Of Joe Judge’s First Padded Practice

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants put on the pads today. Joe Judge’s squad had their first padded practice of the 2020 season today as the media watched from the sidelines. There were a number of standout plays and players, like this incredible catch by C.J. Board:

Other players impressed the media today too, like Colt McCoy, Darnay Holmes, and Corey Coleman. But what was the first impression of new head coach Joe Judge? So far the reviews have all been quite positive.

What Is The Media Saying About Joe Judge’s First Padded Practice?

After the Giants wrapped up today’s practice, the media took to Twitter to post highlights and their initial reactions. The members of the media showed off highlights from players like C.J. Board, Daniel Jones, and others. They also gave their first impressions on Joe Judge and his practice style.

Jordan Raanan of ESPN described Judge’s practice as “fast-paced” and “efficient.” He noted that there is “lots of stuff going on at the same time in different areas of the field.” Raanan also mentioned that ball security has been a priority at Giants’ practice. That can be seen as Judge gives some pointers to a player in the video below:

Raanan also described the practice environment as “intense” while pointing out that coaches were yelling and screaming non-stop with plenty of colorful language. Art Stapleton of USA Today and other sites also sounded impressed with Judge’s first padded practice. He noted that there was very little wasted time and energy. Art also agreed with Raanan, describing the practice as “high intensity.”

One interesting aspect of Judge’s practice is an emphasis on discipline and conditioning. The Giants ran sprints from sideline to sideline post-practice. Players and coaches were required to run laps after miscues or penalties. Joe Judge explained (per Jordan Raanan), “There are consequences for making mistakes.” Sterling Shepard has bought in to the new coach’s culture, and hopes the rest of his teammates do as well:

“I think it’s going to take everybody buying in. if we’re going to be the team we want to be, we have to buy into what Judge has in store for us. Don’t make mistakes. That’s how to get out of it.” – Sterling Shepard on coaches and players running laps via Matt Lombardo

So far, Joe Judge has delivered on every promise he made in his introductory press conference months ago. Judge is instilling a new, tough culture and proving to be a “teacher,” just as he promised. Time will tell if Judge’s new culture and practice routine will lead to more wins for the Giants, but so far, everything has been positive for the rookie head coach.

New York Jets: Mekhi Becton already earning rave reviews as practice opens

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

New York Jets training camp has only just begun, but first-round pick Mekhi Becton is already making a strong impression.

As the New York Jets opened training camp this week, Connor Hughes, who covers the team for The Athletic, humorously suggested that one could play a drinking game for every time someone mentions that Mekhi Becton is big.

With all due respect to Hughes, don’t do that…it won’t end well.

The Louisville alum, the Jets’ first-round selection in April’s draft (11th overall) has joined new Jets teammates in training camp activities in Florham Park this week. Standing at 6 feet 7 inches and weighing 364 pounds, Becton barely needs pads to suggest an imposing prescience. But once he donned his new green gear, he backed up his fierce reputation in style as early reports from NYJets.com indicate that Becton has made a strong first impression in his days in a new helmet.

“He made himself known out there and what he’s capable of doing,” linebacker Blake Cashman said in a report from Ethan Greenberg. “He’s a great player. He’s going to be somebody that’s going to play a long time in this league and has more potential to grow.”

“Every day I just have to watch him and watch film of not just him but everybody,” running back Frank Gore added. “The first day, he was talking to me out there and saying, ‘I’m going to get you four yards’ and I like that. He can move.”

Another report from Hughes, this one more serious in nature, mentioned that Becton perhaps earned the play of the day by knocking down blitzing backfield invader Neville Hewitt during team drills. Becton’s ability to use his renowned size

“He applies it to the field,” Gase noted in Greenberg’s report. “It’s difficult for guys to figure out how to rush him in the pass game and then in the run game it’s hard to hard to move them back, you don’t see much penetration, that line flattens out pretty fast.”

Becton may not be showing up in the Jets’ box score except under unusual circumstances, but he has the potential to be the 2020 offense’s most valuable member. The first blocker the Jets have chosen in the opening round since D’Brickashaw Ferguson in 2006, Becton is expected to take the jobs of Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell easier as they seek to change the fortunes of a stagnant offense. On average, Jets quarterbacks were sacked 3.2 times per game last season, tied for 28th in the league.

In a league dominated by offensive heroics, a stagnant offense is a big problem and leaves a massive hole in the Jets’ future. But if anyone’s going to fill it, there’s likely no better place to turn than the 6 foot, 7 inch, 364-pound blocker from Highland Spring, Virginia.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: WR Vyncint Smith to miss significant time (Report)

New York Jets

The New York Jets receiving corps appear to be taking another hit, as Vyncint Smith is set to miss several weeks with a core muscle injury.

Per Connor Hughes of The Athletic, New York Jets receiver Vyncint Smith will be sidelined for the next 5-8 weeks with a core muscle injury. Smith missed practice on Sunday and later visited a specialist, leading to a verdict of surgery.

With the expected recovery period, the earliest Smith could return would likely be after the Jets’ Week 3 tilt with the San Francisco 49ers on September 20.

Smith, 24, is set to enter his second season with the Jets. He was signed off of the Houston Texans’ practice squad last September and earned 277 yards of offense on 20 touches (17 receptions). Of that total tally, 17 Smith touches led to first downs and he also earned the first rushing touchdown of his career during the Jets’ regular-season visit to Philadelphia last fall. Smith also had reps as a secondary kick returner.

With Smith’s injury, the Jets’ already precarious receiving corps has taken another hit. Second-round pick Denzel Mims has been dealing with a hamstring issue and has been held out of the opening practices, likely leaving veteran newcomer Breshad Perriman as the top target for the time being. Jamison Crowder returns in the slot, but there’s a major drop-off in experience from thereon. Smith’s injury will likely lead to increased opportunities for the unrelated Jeff Smith, who spoke to Randy Lange of NYJets.com about this new opportunity.

Jeff Smith, a second-year undrafted free agent out of Boston College, partook in one game last season and earned 12 yards on a single reception.

“I think my main thing is just to know the whole offense and wherever my chance comes, to be able to go in there, not think too much, and be able to play fast,” Jeff Smith said to Lange. “Next man up.”

The Jets also signed former New England Patriot Chris Hogan earlier this week. Hogan, a two-time Super Bowl champion, is currently awaiting clearance to practice in quarantine after his signing was announced on Sunday.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Jordan Jenkins can lead a defensive revolution

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

Displeased with losing, New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins, one of the longest green veterans, is ready to change the NYJ perception.

Jordan Jenkins partook in 13 losses during his four seasons with the University of Georgia Bulldogs. It took only a year and three weeks to match that total with the New York Jets.

Jenkins was among the first New York Jets to emerge from isolation to speak publicly this week. His words when asked about the Jets’ last decade of distress, would likely be better suited for HBO rather than NFL Network or SNY. But Jets fans of all ages may nonetheless see them as essential listening.

“I know that the Jets didn’t have really a winning history and it really sucks that in the last four years we couldn’t get it done,” Jenkins remarked in a report from SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.” But me being back here, been here four going on five years, and I’m tired of (expletive) losing so, you know, now just gotta ramp (expletive) up and, you know, try and get the ball rolling.”

“No one is used to losing, and no one likes losing,” Jenkins continued, this quote from Olivia Landis of NYJets.com. “The sentiment is, losing sucks and no one wants to come out here and play a game just to lose every game. Ultimately, we want to go out there and win. I’m not from New York, but I’m pretty sure they’re tired of it too.”

For all of the losses the Jets have suffered in Jenkins’ tenure, the linebacker has been a rare silver lining of consistency since his arrival as a third-round pick (83rd overall) in 2016. Over the past two seasons, Jenkins is one of 17 outside linebackers throughout the league to earn at least 15 sacks.

Contrary to popular belief, Jamal Adams wasn’t the Jets’ 2019 sack master wasn’t the departed Jamal Adams, but rather Jenkins, who earned a career-best eight quarterback takedowns (good for sixth amongst AFC linebackers). Among those sacks was a vital third-down stop of Daniel Jones in the battle of MetLife Stadium last November. Jenkins’ strong efforts were rewarded with a new single-year contract worth $3.75 million.

That showdown against the Giants led to a rare win in Jenkins’ era. Since 2016, only the Cleveland Browns have a worse winning percentage than the Jets.

“No one is used to losing, and no one likes losing,” Jenkins said in Landis’ report. “The sentiment is, losing sucks and no one wants to come out here and play a game just to lose every game. Ultimately, we want to go out there and win. I’m not from New York, but I’m pretty sure they’re tired of it too.”

Set to enter his fifth season in green, several releases have transformed Jenkins into the longest-tenured Jet alongside fellow defender Steve McLendon. Jenkins’ role as a team leader will likely only increase with Adams traded and linebacker compatriot C.J. Mosley opting out of 2020. With so many newcomers in tow, many of whom are inexperienced and raw, the Jets need some semblance of sanity to work their way through an AFC full of changing offenses.

Jenkins’ skills in the pass rush may be more vital than ever with new developments in the AFC East. Recent NFL Top 100 Players nominee Josh Allen returns to Buffalo, New England filled the Tom Brady-sized gap with former NFL MVP Cam Newton, and Miami drafted former national champion Tua Tagovailoa. Each of the newcomers has been shown to be capable of changing the course of games through the air and on the ground.

The linebacker believes that the Georgia alum is more than ready to accept the challenge and be that source.

“That’s, honestly, a really great factor for this defense. We’ve got some new faces in here and being able to have the same defensive scheme,” Jenkins said of Williams and his system through Matt Howe of 247Sports. “It sort of puts you ahead of the ball. And the way we do stuff, the way we go through the plays and whatnot, we’re ahead of the curve than we were this time last year.”

“Having Gregg back is going to be a great asset to the defense. It gives guys comfort in that you already know what you’re supposed to do, so go out there and just do it.”

Head coach Adam Gase himself was high on the idea of Jenkins making a bigger impact in the New York stoppage.

“Jordan has these subtle, little pass-rush moves that guys sometimes don’t understand that he’s really effective with,” Gase remarked upon Jenkins recommitment to the Jets. “He gets his hands on you and then he throws you. He’s a very strong player.”

“The sack is never good enough for him. He’s always trying to get the ball out.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Let bygones be bygones with Jamal Adams

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

Since he was shipped to the other side of the country, the New York Jets can’t let the memory of Jamal Adams linger.

If the start of training camp is any indication, the modern New York Jets may resemble the forgotten 2012 blockbuster The Bourne Legacy. Despite trying to move on with a fresh face of the franchise…Sam Darnold may well be the Jets’ Jeremy Renner in this scenario…the project may doomed to spend its runtime living in the shadow of its star attraction’s departure.

In this edition, the role of Matt Damon/Jason Bourne will be portrayed by Jamal Adams…except there’s more than likely no reunion tour coming four years later.

Jets representatives are emerging from isolation as training camp and Adams is the one name on their minds. The most prolific name of the Jets’ late 2010s offerings demanded his way out of New York and now begins his own training camp proceedings with the Seattle Seahawks. Yet, his prescience hasn’t truly left One Jets Drive.

Part of the lingering Adams sentiment obviously stems from modern times, as the Jets join the NFL in trying to navigate its way through the ongoing health crisis. Chances to speak to the Jets have been scarce compared to a normal offseason and the local media pounced on any opportunity to ask the defenders Adams left behind about his turbulent departure.

“That’s a situation between him and his party and the guys upstairs,” Adams’ former secondary companion Marcus Maye said, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Obviously, he was my running mate for three years, a hell of a player. He was looking for other things. I guess they had to part their ways.”

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was the most vocal about the former safety, to the point of starting a war of words with Adams’ new employers in the Pacific Northwest.

“Jamal may get bored there because they don’t use their safety-type things with all the complexities, maybe not showing what they’re doing as much as we do,” Williams said per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, taking a slight shot at Seattle’s Cover 3 setup. “We’ll still do a lot of the same exact things, but we’ll highlight the people we have here. As you saw what we did [last season], he had maybe his most productive year here because of how we highlighted the skill set he has.”

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Both Adams himself and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has since responded to Williams’ comments with a more direct jab at the long time defensive coordinator. Time will only tell if the bad blood makes it to the teams’ scheduled get-together in December.

But any flare-ups, references to Adams, or unnecessary rekindlings of the New York-Seattle rivalry that has been dormant since the 2001 ALCS is the last thing that the Jets need. Thus, it’s time to let Adams go.

As more Jets take to the practice fields, questions will continue to rise about Adams’ impact on the team or lack thereof. His ex-compatriots on the secondary will be asked how much they’ll miss him. Answering those questions is fine, but they can’t do what Williams did and start a verbal scuffle on the other side of the country. Once the first few practices of the post-Adams experience commence, the Jets need to focus only on New York…the green side of it, anyway.

“I’m not going to give a gauge on that, but hopefully we’re pretty (expletive) close,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said in another report from Costello when asked about how close the Jets are to a breakout. “It’s ultimately up to us to decide whether to go out and do it. All the talking is done. It’s time for us to go out and do it.”

Jenkins is exactly right: only the Jets can control their future fortunes. Adams has nothing to with it. Let’s act that way.

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins
 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Williams has been a rare, silver lining in this infantile era, one that has had Jets fans and players alike ready to run into a brick wall. But going after Adams reeks of sour grapes, which is the last thing they need this season.

This 2020 campaign is going to present new, and hopefully temporary, challenges for each of the NFL’s 32 teams. The Jets are a team starting to open a new decade on the right note. Their infamous moniker of “same old Jets” has been earned through not just losing, but losing through ways that are entirely avoidable and over-the-top. Pining after Adams and trying to get in the last word is the type of move that can define a season and set things off on the completely wrong foot.

Even without the challenges of working through a global health crisis, this was going to going to be a season that’d be awkward for the New York Jets. Making the playoffs was going to be a challenge, even with an extra invitation being sent out to each conference. This was going to be a year for the Jets to find themselves, a chance to build for the future, a chance for players, many of whom are on affordable single-year contracts, to prove why they should be allowed to stay for the (potential) glory days ahead. There may be heavier consequences for some…a make-or-break year for Adam Gase isn’t one for Sam Darnold…but there’s still a chance to earn mini-celebrations through development and growth.

This year, if and when we’re allowed to complete it, is a chance to prepare for a new decade, for a future. The last thing the Jets can afford to do is spend its first chapter fixated on the past.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Darnay Holmes Being Cross-Trained At Inside and Outside Cornerback

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The New York Giants’ young secondary has had a rocky offseason. Second-year cornerback DeAndre Baker was arrested earlier this summer and has several severe criminal charges being prosecuted. On top of that, cornerback Sam Beal has opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns, leaving the Giants even more thin at cornerback.

Luckily for the Gmen, there is a new addition to the cornerback group that could fill the hole that has been opened. Darnay Holmes, the Giants’ fourth-round selection out of UCLA was initially thought to be a slot cornerback exclusively. But as the offseason rolled on, many fans have come to the realization that Darnay Holmes has a pretty good chance of being an outside cornerback for the Giants. Now, in training camp, Holmes is officially training for both the inside and outside cornerback positions.

Darnay Holmes Being Cross-Trained

New York’s defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson spoke with the media today and shared some insight on the state of the cornerback position. At the outside cornerback position, Henderson said that all the cornerbacks are “competing” and that the team does not have “a true depth chart” at cornerback just yet.

When asked specifically about Darnay Holmes, Henderson had this to say:

We’re cross-training him right now, outside and inside, as all our players are doing right now. He’s doing a good job in camp, but he has a long, long way to go. We haven’t even gotten to the pads yet to really see. That’ll be when you can really see what you have in those guys, is when we put the pads on and it’s a little more competitive, it’s real and he’s going against guys. Right now, we’ve just been in shorts. He’s been positive, doing some positive things. He has some growing to do. But we’ll see what he is when we put the pads on and actually compete against each other. – Jerome Henderson on Darnay Holmes 8/14/20 via Giants.com

Darnay Holmes has been cross-training at both outside and inside cornerback, according to Jerome Henderson. This is exciting news for Giants fans who were worried about the lack of depth at outside cornerback. Now the question is, will Darnay Holmes be able to succeed on the outside, and will it suit him better than the inside?

Could Darnay Holmes Succeed On The Outside?

Darnay Holmes was drafted to play inside at the nickel cornerback position. But this would be a first for Darnay. The cornerback spent his collegiate career at UCLA playing outside cornerback. Darnay’s playing style is actually similar to that of a prototypical outside cornerback. The problem is, Holmes is small. Darnay stands in at roughly 5 feet 10 inches and 195 pounds (but it would not be surprising if those numbers are a little high).

How small is Darnay Holmes, really? When comparing him to the Giants’ last outside cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, they are about the same height and weight. So maybe size will not be a big issue for Holmes. Darnay could continue playing the position he was so good at in college with the Giants.

New York Giants: Corey Coleman Healthy And Ready To Earn WR4 Position

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

The New York Giants‘ offense has battled injuries over the last couple of seasons. Last year, all of the Giants’ top playmakers missed time with injuries at some point or another. Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard were all absent at one point or another. All of those players suffered injuries midseason and did get regular-season action. But the Giants have another playmaker on their roster who suffered an injury prior to the start of the regular season, keeping him sidelined the whole year.

Wide receiver Corey Coleman tore his ACL in training camp last year. He missed the entire 2019 season. The Giants certainly felt Coleman’s absence as the season went on, seeing multiple injuries arise in the receiving corps. But entering the 2020 season, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert says that Corey Coleman is healthy and ready to go.

Tyke Tolbert On Corey Coleman

New York Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert spoke with the media today as the team begins full-squad practices. Tolbert has been a coach with the Giants since 2018, making him one of the few coaches leftover from Pat Shurmur’s staff. Tolbert has done an excellent job with the Giants’ wide receivers and has received plenty of praise from his players.

Tolbert discussed wide receiver Corey Coleman today, saying Coleman is “pretty much back to what he was before he was injured.” Coleman has struggled with injuries throughout his career, so it is encouraging to hear he is healthy and ready for 2020.

Tolbert also had this to say about Darius Slayton:

Corey Coleman’s Return

Corey Coleman has been with the Giants since 2018. Since then, he has only been active for 8 games and started in 1 game. Last offseason, former head coach Pat Shurmur expressed confidence in Coleman, saying he had big plans for the receiver. Unfortunately, Giants fans never got to see those plans put into place as Coleman suffered a torn ACL early on in training camp.

Coleman is a former first-round pick that has struggled to stay on the field in his career. He has never played more than 10 games in a season. Corey was electric during his collegiate career at Baylor and has certainly flashed potential in the NFL. But he has never been able to put it all together.

Now that Corey Coleman is fully recovered from his injury, he can finally return to the field and prove the doubters wrong. The Giants have plenty of depth at the wide receiver position. They recently signed three undrafted free agents to compete for the backup wide receiver positions. Coleman will need to impress in training camp to prevent one of the rookies from taking his spot.

New York Giants OT Nate Solder Opts Out Of 2020 Season

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants have had their first player officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season: offensive tackle Nate Solder.

Nate Solder announced today that he will be opting out of the 2020 season due to serious health concerns. Nate’s son, Hudson Solder, has been fighting an ongoing battle with cancer. Hudson is at high-risk if he were to contract the coronavirus. The Solder family has also welcomed a baby boy as a new addition to the family this spring. Nate Solder has eliminated certain risks by opting out of this year’s NFL season to protect his family’s health.

Nate Solder released this official statement on Twitter below:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous opt-outs across the NFL. Nate Solder is the twenty-sixth NFL player to opt-out of the season, the first member of the New York Giants to do so. Training camp began yesterday for the Giants. Players underwent their first round of COVID-19 testing and will continue to be tested until they are cleared to practice.

With this news, the Giants have lost one of their two starting offensive tackles. This leaves the door wide open for rookie Andrew Thomas to start immediately at left tackle in 2020. Solder opting out also frees up $19.5 million on the Giants’ 2020 salary cap. But the money does roll into 2021 and likely extends Solder’s career with the Giants.

Nate Solder’s opt-out could also have a ripple effect across the Giants’ offensive line. This creates even more uncertainty over who might start at both right tackle and center. Nick Gates could see himself take a starting role this season and rookie Matt Peart might now have a shot at the right tackle position.

Nate Solder’s family is the top priority. He has made this careful decision to protect the health of himself and his loved ones and he deserves respect and admiration for doing so.